Speciation and source identification of organic compounds in PM10 over Seoul, South Korea

Na Rae Choi, Se Pyo Lee, Ji Yi Lee, Chang Hoon Jung, Yong Pyo Kim

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38 Scopus citations


Seventy three individual organic compounds in the atmospheric particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter of less than or equal to a nominal 10 μm (PM10) over Seoul were identified and quantified from April 2010 to April 2011 using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). These organic compounds were classified into five groups, n-alkanes, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), mono-carboxylic acids, di-carboxylic acids (DCAs), and sugars based on their chemical structures and properties. The organic compounds showed higher seasonal average concentrations from fall to winter than from spring to summer due to source strength, except some organic compounds among mono-carboxylic acids, DCAs, sugars such as undecanoic acid, methylmalonic acid, and fructose. Through qualitative data analysis using seasonal concentration variations and relevant diagnostic parameters, it was found that (1) anthropogenic sources such as combustion of fossil fuel and biomass burning attributed more to the formation of the organic aerosols than biogenic sources, and (2) the ambient level of n-alkanes, PAHs, and some compounds of DCAs and sugars was elevated in winter due to the increased primary emissions and larger transport from outside of the organic compounds in winter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1589-1596
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


  • Dicarboxylic acids
  • Mono-carboxylic acids
  • N-Alkanes
  • Organic aerosols
  • Polycyclic aromatic carbons
  • Seoul
  • Sugars


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